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100 Pak soldiers missing near Afghan border

Two contingents of security forces were driving in trucks near Wana in restive South Waziristan tribal district.

world Updated: Aug 31, 2007 13:16 IST
DPA

More than 100 Pakistani soldiers have gone missing near the border with Afghanistan as pro-Taliban militants claimed to have abducted 300 men travelling in a convoy, news reports said.

Two contingents of security forces were driving in trucks near the town of Wana in the restive South Waziristan tribal district on Thursday when they were stopped by a large group of armed men.

Islamic militants in the region said they had snatched the troops because the government in Islamabad was not honouring a peace deal.

A spokesman for a prominent local rebel leader, Baitullah Mehsud, told the BBC that the soldiers were surrounded and disarmed.

Army spokesman Major-General Waheed Arshad told the Geo news channel that a few contingents did not reach their destination but did not confirm their abduction.

The region has seen a growing number of attacks on security forces since July that have left at least 60 soldiers and 250 militants killed.

The incident also follows the release on Tuesday of 18 soldiers who were kidnapped earlier this month in the border region, which the US claims is a refuge for Al Qaeda and Taliban forces.